Mesothelioma Lawsuits: Types of Claims and Who Can File
Mesothelioma is a deadly type of cancer that is associated with asbestos. Before being recognized as a carcinogen, asbestos was widely used in products throughout the country. Asbestos exposure will not cause mesothelioma or noticeable symptoms until years later. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be able to file one of these types of claims in pursuit of compensation from the person or party responsible for exposing you to asbestos, even if the exposure happened decades ago.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
A mesothelioma lawsuit is a type of civil claim that seeks financial compensation for the victim who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. This type of lawsuit is based on the allegation that the defendant(s) was negligent and that this caused or significantly contributed to the victim being exposed to asbestos.
In personal injury law, negligence is the failure to use a reasonable amount of care. If negligence causes injury or harm, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. For example, if a property owner knew or should have known that a premises contained asbestos but did nothing to reduce the risk of exposure, you may be able to hold the property owner liable for mesothelioma through a personal injury or premises liability lawsuit.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
A workers’ compensation claim is a common outlet for financial recovery in a mesothelioma case involving occupational risks. Many victims are exposed to asbestos at their jobs. The most common workplaces that risk occupational asbestos exposure are construction, demolition, roofing, HVAC, auto repair, shipbuilding, firefighting, and industrial and power plant work.
If you or your attorney trace your asbestos exposure back to a job that you currently have or previously held, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These are no-fault benefits available in New Jersey, meaning that you do not have to prove negligence to recover financially. You may be eligible for greater compensation, however, through a personal injury lawsuit, depending on the case.
Product Liability Lawsuit
Certain consumer goods may contain dangerous amounts of asbestos, such as talcum powder products. Talc and asbestos are often found in close proximity to each other in mines. This can lead to asbestos contamination in talc products. If you believe you were exposed to asbestos from a defective consumer good, you may have grounds to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor of the product. Most of these lawsuits use the strict liability law, meaning that you will not have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Sadly, mesothelioma is a terminal type of cancer with no known cure. If you are considering legal action after a loved one has already passed away from mesothelioma, you may have grounds to file what is known as a wrongful death claim. This type of lawsuit is similar to a personal injury claim in that it is typically based on negligence. However, a wrongful death lawsuit is brought by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate on behalf of surviving beneficiaries, not the victim him or herself.
Trust Fund Claim
Many parties involved in asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits, including most larger manufacturers of products containing asbestos, have declared bankruptcy. If the defendant in your mesothelioma lawsuit is bankrupt or otherwise unable to be held accountable, you may still be eligible for compensation through an asbestos trust fund claim. Several trust funds were created to compensate victims of mesothelioma.
Get Help From a Mesothelioma Lawyer
Securing financial compensation through one of these types of mesothelioma lawsuits in New Jersey may require assistance from a mesothelioma lawyer. As the injured party, or plaintiff, it is your burden to prove your case based on a preponderance of the evidence. An attorney can help you understand and protect your legal rights as a person who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or a surviving loved one, as well as gather evidence to build a compelling claim on your behalf.
For more information about bringing a mesothelioma lawsuit, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C. for a free consultation.